When our family of six woke up on Monday May 15, 2006…the day after Mother’s Day, we had no idea later that day we would be thrown into the world of pediatric cancer. Our oldest child was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma and in that moment our lives changed forever. Richard was a 13-year old fun loving, free spirited, well-liked student, and friend to many. While this path was extremely challenging for our family, it was made somewhat easier by the many blessings, such as family, friends and financial security that we were able to count on. Within weeks of his diagnosis we realized that many families did not have this infrastructure, and began the Go4theGoal Foundation in an effort to help those battling pediatric cancer travel this road with a little more security, dignity, and normalcy. The only worry a parent should have when caring for a sick child is how and when their child will become healthy again. However, this is not the norm. Most parents have financial struggles, logistic concerns, and the unimaginable…facing the possibility of losing their child.
After battling this terrible disease with our son, imagine our horror when his 8-year-old cousin, Blake, was diagnosed with another rare pediatric cancer, Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. Because of the rarity of many pediatric cancers, there has been little advancement in treatments and funding for necessary research is consistently lacking. Despite this, Blake bravely fought her cancer and is now a happy and healthy 11-year-old girl!
2012 was a very exciting year at Go4theGoal. Our outreach expanded from 16 hospitals to 60 from New England to Hawaii. Our two national campaigns, National Dress 4 Pediatric Cancer Day™ and Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer™, gave hundreds of schools, businesses, and sports teams an opportunity to raise awareness and much needed support for patients in their communities. In the end, our hard work and the generosity of many individuals and companies, earned Go4theGoal the honor of “Top Rated Non-Profit of 2012” by Great Non-Profits!
Now our family of five continues to move Go4theGoal forward, guided by Richard’s spirit and Blake’s courage with the simple mission of helping children with cancer achieve their goals of just being kids. Please help us make a difference in the lives of kids affected by cancer. You never know when the life of someone you love is going to be changed by pediatric cancer. Our mission will never end as long as children continue to battle pediatric cancers. We need your help! Join our mission and change the lives of children battling cancer.
Very Truly Yours,
Richard and Beth Stefanacci
Dr. Richard and Beth Stefanacci
Founders of Go4theGoal Foundation